Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Elder D. Todd Christofferson
"The Divine Gift of Repentance"
Here are a couple of the quotes that "spoke to me" as I read this talk by Elder Christofferson (which can be found here.)
"In reality the prophetic call [to repentance] should be received with joy. Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. . . Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace."
I love this idea that repentance should be a joyful part of our lives. And I appreciate the reminder that peace comes from being obedient, which necessitates repentance.
"Repentance means striving to change. It would mock the Savior's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for us to expect that He should transform us into angelic beings with no real effort on our part. Rather, we seek His grace to complement and reward our most diligent efforts."
The phrase that stood out to me in my regular scripture reading this morning was from Mosiah 27:5 - "Doing these things [laboring for their own support], they did abound in the grace of God." If we are to expect the grace of God, which means his aid and help, we need to work and do our part. That's what repentance entails. And, look, there in verse 6 we get the results again - "There began to be much peace again in the land." Repentance (obedience) brings peace, and that's my wish for you this Christmas season.
Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr.
Elder Curtis is my mom's cousin, so my ears perked up just a bit more while he spoke during conference. (Find his talk here.) And I loved his talk, particularly the "stories of redemption" and the importance of helping others come to Christ. I'm thankful that my parents took that role in my life. I'm thankful for a heritage of pioneer ancestors. And I'm determined to do my best so that my children and grandchildren know that we can all be redeemed and return to live with our Heavenly Father because of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Here's my favorite quote from the talk - "Those who have strayed significantly from the paths of righteousness desperately need this redemption, and if they fully repent, it is theirs to claim. But those who have worked hard to live good lives also desperately need this redemption, for none can get to the presence of the Father without Christ's help."
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Elder Ian S. Ardern
"A Time to Prepare"
- Need to prioritize choices to match goals
- Use time to serve others
- Seek the Kingdom of God first
- Busy needs to equal productive too
- Identify time wasting activities and "grind them to dust"
- Poor use of time is a close cousin to idleness
- I can be the master of electronics, not their slave
- What am I doing today to prepare to meet God?
- Am I prepared to be happy with the accounting I will have to give?
I also wrote a note to look up a couple of quotes. Here's the one by Elder Quentin L. Cook: (in October 2003, "Are You a Saint?". You won't be disappointed if you decide to read the whole talk.)
"Saints who respond to the Savior’s message will not be led astray by distracting and destructive pursuits and will be prepared to make appropriate sacrifices. The importance of sacrifice to those who want to be Saints is exemplified by the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, which is at the center of the gospel. What a wonderful blessing it is to be a Latter-day Saint. I love the words in the last lines of the hymn “O Saints of Zion”:
"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives."
Just last night I made the comment that it's so hard to be productive when you're tired. Wayne said, "And you're just learning that now!?" No, I knew that, but after reading this talk again that morning, I was more aware of trying to be productive and using my time wisely. And I was tired and sleepy and it was difficult. So, I guess one of the lessons I need to learn when it comes to time management is making sure I get the proper amount of sleep! I'm looking forward to keeping Elder Ardern's counsel in mind as I prepare for the current holiday season and New Year's Resolutions.
**I wrote about this before. I like this quote!